CHICAGO (CBS) — Who could forget the image of a hunched over, 89-year-old Little Village man pushing an ice cream cart to try to make ends meet?
About three years year ago, people across the world opened their hearts, and wallets, to help – in a big way. Sadly, Fidencio Sanchez died this week from complications of sepsis, a family friend posted on Facebook.
Three years ago, Sanchez looked exhausted as we worked long days an ice cream vendor – or “paleta man” — to make ends meet.
He would have continued to struggle, working, if it wasn’t for the men who snapped a picture in 2016 that went viral. It showed Sanchez hunched over and pushing his ice cream cart near 26th Street.
A Go Fund Me campaign caught on, with thousands around the world making donations, totaling more than $380,000.
“It could not have happened to a better person,” Salvador Lopez, an attorney who helped the family, said in 2017.
“We wouldn’t say he’s living a luxurious lifestyle, by any means,” he said. But Sanchez is comfortable and doesn’t have financial concerns, the attorney said.
Sanchez retired and exercised twice a week and took a trip to Kentucky with his wife.
“The biggest change, as they would tell you, would be the gift of rest,” Lopez told CBS 2 in 2017.
Sanchez decided to stay in Little Village, the community he and his wife called home.